Former HK chief executive Donald Tsang jailed 20 months for misconduct

Catholic former Chief Executive of Hong Kong convicted

The High Court sentenced former chief executive Donald Tsang to 20 months in jail on Wednesday for misconduct while he was leader of Hong Kong.

Former Hong Kong chief executive Donald Tsang (C) reacts as he walks towards his vehicle from the High Court after the jury found him guilty of misconduct in his high-profile corruption trial, in Hong Kong on February 17, 2017.

All three charges were linked to various personal negotiations Mr Tsang had with a company chaired by businessman Bill Wong Cho-bau between 2010 and 2012 to rent and potentially purchase a penthouse apartment in Shenzhen.

"Never in my judicial career have I seen a man falling from such a height", said High Court justice Andrew Chan in passing sentence.

The jury could not reach a decision on whether Tsang was guilty of accepting advantage.

Tsang was found guilty of failing to disclose his plans to lease a luxury flat from a major investor in a broadcaster that was seeking a licence to operate in Hong Kong.

He rejected the defence's plea for a suspended sentence and ordered a retrial for September over Tsang's bribery charge.

Justice Chan said the seriousness of the offence lay in Tsang's high position as a person of integrity who had breached public trust.

His wife Selina Tsang told reporters: "is a very dark day". She said that they would face the outcome of the trial with strength and courage, but that they would, nonetheless, be appealing the conviction.

Tsang, 72 was head of the Hong Kong government for seven years from 2005.

"In life, a lot of things are out of our control, but serving Hong Kong was my choice. No matter what the result of the trial is, I have no regrets". "Donald and I have been greatly troubled and felt enormous pressure in the past five years", Tsang's wife, Selina said.

A third bribery charge was slapped on a year later, according to South China Morning Post. Translated and edited by Luisetta Mudie.

Reported by Lam Kwok-lap for RFA's Cantonese Service, and by Chen Pan for the Mandarin Service.